Stellantis and NioCorp sign rare earth offtake commitment
Stellantis N.V. and NioCorp Developments have announced the signing of a rare earth offtake term sheet. The objective is to enter into a definitive rare earth supply agreement to support Stellantis’ commitment to build resilient supply chains and reach carbon net zero by 2038, and to help accelerate NioCorp’s path to commercial production of magnetic rare earth oxides in the United States.
The term sheet envisions a definitive agreement for a 10-year offtake contract for specific amounts of neodymium-praseodymium oxide, dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide that NioCorp aims to produce at its Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project in southeast Nebraska, subject to the receipt of adequate project financing. Final volumes would be set in a definitive agreement.
“Stellantis intends to lead the industry with the commitment to be carbon net zero by 2038 – a goal that requires innovation and a complete redefinition of our sourcing strategies,” said Stellantis Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer Maxime Picat. “By working with partners like NioCorp, we are taking important steps, with the aim of decarbonizing mobility and ensuring strategic supplies of raw materials necessary for the success of the company’s global electrification plans highlighted in our Dare Forward 2030 strategy.”
“We are very pleased to announce that NioCorp and Stellantis have agreed to collaboratively develop Stellantis’ magnetic rare earth supply chain, including helping to identify a sintered rare earth permanent magnet manufacturer that provides additional geographic optionality to Stellantis, in support of their ambitious commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2038,” said Mark Smith, executive chairman and chief executive officer of NioCorp. “We believe that NioCorp’s position as a potential U.S. supplier of multiple critical minerals needed for vehicle electrification offers Stellantis important optionality to secure supply chains and support its growth targets.”
According to the press statement, no economic analysis has been completed on the rare earth mineral resource comprising the Elk Creek Project and further studies are required before determining whether extraction of rare earth elements can be reasonably justified and economically viable after taking account all relevant factors.
Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider. Its brands include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep®, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys. According to the company, Stellantis aspires to become the greatest sustainable mobility tech company, not the biggest, while creating added value for all stakeholders as well as the communities in which it operates. For more information, visit www.stellantis.com.
NioCorp is developing a critical minerals project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce niobium, scandium and titanium. The company also is evaluating the potential to produce several rare earths from the Elk Creek Project. Niobium is used to produce specialty alloys as well as high strength, low alloy steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural and pipeline applications. Scandium is a specialty metal that can be combined with aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium is also a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various lightweight alloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor and medical implants. Magnetic rare earths, such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium are critical to the making of neodymium-iron-boron magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications.